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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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CNN

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Us 17, Russia 16, U.s. 12, Edward Snowden 8, Washington 7, Obama 7, At&t 7, James Dimaggio 6, Hannah 6, Chicago 5, Idaho 5, California 4, Snowden 4, Missouri 4, China 4, America 4, Syria 4, Geico 4, Hp Moonshot 4, Ikea 3,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    August 9, 2013
    2:00 - 4:01pm PDT  

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today. i'm john berman filling in for jake tapper who is back on monday, allegedly. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." >> happening now, president obama strongly defends government surveillance but says he'll work to protect privacy rights. and a possible u.s. government shutdown. we have it all covered for you this hour. >> the hunt for the california amber alert suspect and the 16-year-old girl he may be holding captive moves to the idaho wilderness after horseback riders report a possible sight ing. >> and the great white sharks, imagine pulling one on to your boat. that's what some researchers are trying to do. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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we begin this hour with president obama. he says america is not interested in spying on ordinary people. following leaks revealing massive government snooping programs, he says he's acting to boost confidence in national security, surveillance, working with congress to make it more transparent. >> i'm going to be pushing the i.c. to do, rather than have a trunk come out here and a leg come out here and a tail come out there, let's just put the whole elephant out there so we can see what's working and what is not. >> and he says skipping the meeting with putin is not solely because of edward snowden. this from a news conference from the president earlier today for about an hour. we go to jessica yellin for more
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of the highlights. >> reporter: in that sound bite he announced a major new effort to make more transparent how the surveillance programs in the u.s. work. basically what he's trying to do is pull back the curtain on more of the massive surveillance system that the u.s. has deployed and explain from the president and the administration's perspective both why it's necessary and more of the details about it because they feel that the u.s. public has been misinformed as has the world by the release of documents by edward snowden. and the president and the administration have been criticized from left and from right for failing to do what many say has been a better job explaining all that. so in the coming days they already started releasing documents, i have one now. in coming days we expect many more about the details of the surveillance here in the u.s., wolf. >> you asked an important question to the president. let me play your question and his answer right now.
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>> republicans in the house might give you that choice soon to either allow the government to shut down or see obama care defunded. would you choose to let the government shut down to ensure that obama care remains funded? >> well, you know, i'm not going to engage in hypotheticals. i can tell that you the american people would have difficulty understanding why we would weaken our economy, shut down our government, shut down vital services, have people who are not getting paid, who then can't go to restaurants or shop for clothes or all the other things that we're doing here because republicans have determined that they don't want to see these folks get health care.
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>> he clearly irritated with the threats they might be willing to shut down the government. >> come october 1st the government runs out of money and congress will have to decide exactly how to fund government going into next year. some republicans in the house are saying they will not vote for any funding increases, any new spending for next year unless obama care is defended. you heard also a very fierce defense of obama care from him just before i asked my question so it led right into this to say, mr. president, given this fierce defense, does that mean your top priority is obama over a government shutdown? he really wouldn't go there. you heard him say i'm not engaging in hypotheticals. but given everything he said, it
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sure sounded like he was on the firm side of obama care and the republicans better not be shutting down the government or we could be facing a big showdown. >> the president said he's confident common sense will prevail and the government wouldn't shut down because of a battle over health care. dana bash is watching what's going on, getting reaction to the news conference. is this really what the republicans are threatening to do, shut down the government to try to kill obama care? >> reporter: some are absolutely. i spoke with ted cruz, the republican senator for texas. he said before leaving for recess that he believes if th is the most critical, fundamental time for republicans to make good on their promise to appeal obama care by making this threat that the government is going to run out of money by the end of september and they're not going to vote on funding it unless
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obama care is defunded. and he's taunting fellow republicans saying they're scared, that's why they may not go his way. but they really are split. he's spending all of august with petitions and trying to push republican leaders to go forward on the strategy. but even the most fiscally conservative republicans are saying for many reasons this is not the best way to go. if you take obama care out of this, there are still questions about how republicans and the white house will come together on a plan to keep the government run persian gulf they have to come up with spending measures and balance that with tax hikes if there are going to be any. that is something we've seen the white house and republicans struggle with since the republicans took over in the house and they're going to have to find way to do that in the next month and a half. >> let me switch gears and talk about the nsa surveillance
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program. the specific plan the president outlined on capitol hill, will it satisfy his critics that he has krit nicks both parties? >> the short answer is no. what has been most interesting is that, yes, he has krit nicks both parties but most of them have been to the left. libertarian republicans and of course liberal democrats. he's had the support of republicans or republican leadership in particular, it's been an area where they actually agree. the house speaker put out a statement saying this is absolutely the wrong thing to do, that he is trying to save face and that he is effectively caving to the liberal wing. as far as the liberal wing goes, they say it's a nice first step but they're going to continue to narrow it.
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they will have major hearings on this all fall. >> obama care has been a tough battle from the word go and why are conservatives still making an all-out effort against it? let's discuss with our cnn political commentators. let me play another clip from the president defending obama care. >> i think the really interesting question is why it is that my friends in the other party have made the idea of preventing these people from getting health care their holy grail, their number one priority, the one unifying principle in the republican party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don't have health care. the notion is simply that those 30 million people, or the 150 million who are benefiting from the other aspect, of affordable
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care, will be better off without it. that's their assertion. not backed by fact. not backed by any evidence. it's just become an ideological fixation. well, i tell you what, they're wrong about that. >> so, ari, is the president right that defending obama care is now the number one priority for the republicans, the holy grail as he calls them? >> wolf that, sentence by the president encapsulates everything wrong with the ill will in washington. the president acts as if it's all republicans who are bitter and want to fight. that challenges the motives of his opposition, doesn't question their policies or substantive judgmen judgment. he says republicans have a cold heart and don't want to give health insurance to 30 million people. that's a fundamentally wrong statement to make and it maligns the motive of his opposition. it helps drive all the ill
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feelings of washington, d.c. the president is part of the problem in washington when he speaks ill of his opponents like that instead of speaking substantively. the house majority leader issued a statement showing nine proposals republicans have made to replace obama care with substantive policies and changes. >> like the president said, there is a congress that the last 211 days they haven't moved one piece of jobs legislation but yet they've been able to keep continually voting on appealing health care reform and the president's right. i didn't see what i think you said kanter presented today but they haven't presented anything on the floor of the congress. why is it that you're going to take 30, 40 votes on repealing health care when you know it's not going to happen.
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this has become the obsession of the republican party and unfortunately congress is broken because of it. >> go ahead, ari. >> i don't know what comprehensive job reform is. maybe cornel thinks washington can create all the jobs for all the unemployed americans. our country doesn't really work that way. but the republicans have come out with legislation that would deny insurance companies the right to deny people insurance with preexisting conditions. >> this is breaking news to me. where was he when they were rolling it out when the
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president reached across and said work with me on this and let's find common ground. they were lock step against him. this is breaking news and it shows you how broken congress really is. >> that's because of the health redigs -- redistribution of assets. when the president says republicans don't want 30 million to have health care, republicans want insurance companies to knock people off of preexisting conditions, the president is contributing to the terrible cesspool of washington. he is part of the problem because he's misstating republican positions and he knows it. >> here is the problem with it. it's fantasy. you know why there was an individual mandate in your last presidential candidate's platform for health care that he did in massachusetts?
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because quite frankly that's the part that makes all the other good things work. so we're talking fantasy. and the job killing bill that health care reform is, how many jobs have we actually created over the last 12 months? we've created an awful lot of jobs over the last 12 months. the only thing that's going to kill jobs is republicans shutting down our government and throwing our economy in a tail spin over health care. it makes no sense. >> ari, you lived through the last government shutdown back in the 90s. twice the republicans shut down the government. they paid a steep price for it. they're not going to do it again, right? >> wolf, on this one i agree with cornell. i think tactically it's a terrible mistake. as much as i would like to see obama care repealed because it's bad for the economy and bad for people's insurance and their ability to afford health care, shutting down the government is just not the right way to go. the american people are tired of taking the fights to the extreme and this is where both parties,
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ted cruz is leading this, needs to bring it back and be reasonable. it's a mistake for republicans to pursue it. >> we agree in the end. >> thanks very much. up next, president obama says the core of al qaeda has been broken apart. is that enough to keep americans safe? peter bergen is here. and president obama slams russia's treatments of gays and lesbians and athletes. , helicopters buzzing, and truck engine humming. sfx: birds chirping sfx: birds chirping
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pose? president obama spoke about that today at the news conference. >> i said specifically that although they're less likely to able to carry out spectacular homeland attacks like 9/11, they have the capacity to go after our embassies, they have the capacity potentially to go after our businesses, they have the capacity to be destabilizing and disruptive in countries where the security and rat suss weak. thas exactly what we're seeing right now the. . >> let's discuss what's going on with our national security analyst peter bergen. as we're speaking, we're getting
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word in that the majority of u.s. diplomatic posts closed because of fears of a possible al qaeda attack will reopen on sunday. he's quoting a senior state department official. as you know, 19 embassies and consulates were shut down. a majority of them will reopen. maybe some of them will remain closed. is the president right that core al qaeda is for all practical purposes destroyed? >> i think the president is correct. i think that's a factually correct statement. an account that we have done at the american foundation of senior leaders of al qaeda killed in pakistan, you have at least 30 that have been killed. they're finding it hard to replace people. one interpretation that can be put on this recent alert is al qaeda central, ayman al zawahiri
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reaching out and saying essentially do something. cnn is reporting that the message was do something. you know, it's not i have an extremely well thought out plan to attack a particular place valuable to the united states. >> but al qaeda does have all these presence throughout -- in syria there's a significant al qaeda presence nshs ira, in ira. and even al qaeda in sinai right now, you see all these affiliates, supporters of al qaeda. don't they represent a significant potential threat? >> yeah, potential threat. syria in particular where you have thousands of foreign fighters, some of them are europeans, the most effective fighting force, fighting against assad is really an al qaeda front organization. for the moment they're focused
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on throwing over assad. that said, things can change. syria is a real concern. it's not a concern we could have been talking about a year ago because the situation in syria has developed in a very sort of radical way. >> as mike morel, the outgoing number two on the cia, if those groups get their hands on some of al qaeda's chemical weapons, who know what is they would do with that. that's a serious threat. >> coming up, an amber alert suspect and very disturbing questions. >> and president obama speaks out on anti-gay laws. stay with us. you're in "the situation room."
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there are important developments in the manhunt for a murder and kidnapping suspect. mary snow is monitoring that for us. what do you have? >> authorities have recovered james dimaggio's car in ohio. they found it after reports from people riding on horseback came into contact with them. much more on this ahead.
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>> authorities are searching for bodies after a twin-engine plane crashed into a home in connecticut. there are at least two victims but they can't say who they are. in addition to the pilot in the plane, two children are in one of the homes that burned. >> and finally, watch what happened when a reporter from britain's itv caught up with new york's mayoral candidate anthony weiner. he didn't quite take her seriously. >> would anything stop you? >> i feel like is a rocket going to fall on my head? can i do anything for you? it's going to be rainy, cloudy and gray. so do what you can, guys. try to keep your head up.
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keep is stiff -- what is it, a stiff upper lip? >> a new poll shows weiner's in fourth place in the race. >> and up next, president obama speaking bluntly about russia's president putin. a great white shark is frightening enough but imagine pulling a live one on to your boat. that's what some researchers are trying to do. we'll take to you the waters off cape cod. that's coming up. like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] ...office space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones. now, everyone's in the spirit of sharing. hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend? no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more. at&t mobile share for business.
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what's also true is that when president putin, who was prime when medvedev was president came back into power, i think we saw more rhetoric on the russian side that was anti-american, that played into some of the old stereotypes about the cold war contest between the united states and russia and i've encouraged mr. putin to think forward as opposed to backwards on those issues. with mixed success. i don't have a bad personal relationship with putin. when we have conversations they're candid, they're blunt.
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oftentimes they're constructive. i know the press likes to focus on body language and he's got that kind of slouch, looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom, but the truth is that when we're in conversations together, oftentimes it's very productive. >> let's discuss what's going on with the russia expert, senior editor at the "new republic." julia, thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> it's a complicated relationship, not like in the bad days of the cold war but it's tense. >> unlike in the bad days of the cold war, there's not as much to talk about. i it's not like the u.s. and russia are in charge of the withhold world. it's like the u.s., russia, china and then i think to recalibrate relationships is a nod to catching up with the
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times. >> they'll have a chance to meet at the g-20 in saint petersburg. >> putin's foreign policy adviser said they intended to talk in moscow, now that it's cancelled, they're not really planning on anything specific or special at the g-20 but they might talk on the sideline. >> can you see the russians handing over snowden to the united states? >> no. >> why? >> can you see the united states handing over somebody like snowden to russia? >> you don't think so? >> no. it looks bad, it looks weak. it got to the point where eric holder had to say we won't torture this guy, we won't put him to death. he became kind of a folk hero in the russia media and there was also the trope that he would be tortured and murdered if isn't
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back to the u.s. >> the president was very specific when it came to the recent wave of anti-gay sentiment in russia but also said let's not boycott the li olympics. >> one thing i'm looking forward to is gay and lesbian athletes bringing home some gold, silver and bronze, which i think would go a long way toward rejecting what we're seeing there. if russia doesn't have gay or lesbian athletes, it will probably make their team weak per. >> why are they imposing all of these anti-gay laws? >> you had at the same time that the anti-gay law was passed, had you a law that punished with jail time the feelings of
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religious believers. it's this kind of neoconservative attitude, looking and grasping to an ideology to tie a country to. putin's reascent. this is trying to create an image of russia that may not have ever existed but he feels it's a kind of image that the russian heartland can get behind, even if he's lost the city ps. >> does putin personally support a crackdown on gays and lesbians in russia? >> i don't think he particularly cares. he's probably a pretty traditional guy who probably doesn't realize he knows some gay people in his life but he's going along with it. he's using it in a cynical way to build, to brings heartland into his tent. >> if they want to host the olympic games, they're not going to able to do that effectively. we'll see what happens, julia. thanks so much for coming in.
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>> just ahead, a real life mystery. it started with a baby's disappearance. almost 50 years later, a man who grew up thinking he was that child makes a big discovery. plus the powerball jackpot keeps shrinking but it's still a lot of money. just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights. my ambulance talks with smoke alarms and pilots and stadiums. but, of course, it's a good listener too. [ female announcer ] today cisco is connecting the internet of everything. so everything works like never before. does your dog food have? today cisco is connecting the internet of everything. 18 percent? 20? new purina one true instinct has 30. active dogs crave nutrient-dense food. so we made purina one true instinct. learn more at purinaone.com
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a nearly half century old cold case is being reopened after a man made a startling discovery. the people who raised him weren't his biological parents and he wasn't the child they thought he was.
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ted rowlands is in chicago. what do we know, ted? >> reporter: it's quite a story. his parents never told him about his past. he stumbled across an old box that had newspaper clippings talking about his past. his parents said don't worry about that, you are who you are. it was bothering him so he got a dna test and figured out he wasn't who he thought he was. paul is determined to find out who he really is. his story goes back to april 1964 at michael reese hospital in chicago. chester and door ra franzac were celebrating the birth of their baby boy when a nurse kidnapped the newborn. as police searched, the heart broken parents could do nothing but wait. just over a year later, this little boy was found abandoned in newark, new jersey. investigators thought he might
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be baby paul because his ears were similar. but with dna testing unavailable, they couldn't just hand him over. the franzacs were sure it was baby paul so they adopted him. >> and they were agreed parents. >> the boy grew up as paul fronczaks. careers later paul decided to take a dna test because he'd always had questionquestions. >> i started thinking what are the chances out of a kidnapped baby from chicago, that i am their kidnapped child found in new jersey two and a half years later? it's pretty wild. >> the results confirmed that paul actually wasn't the baby stolen from the hospital. he now wants to find out his true identity and now nearly 50 years later because of paul's dna test, the fbi has opened the
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case in an effort to possibly find the real paul fronczak. >> i think can would be really cool if we actually found the real kidnapped baby. >> reporter: so, wolf you, two mysteries here. who is paul? he's trying to figure out his own identity. he's working with ancestry.com. they've located a second or third cousin. but then you have the fbi investigation. they did find the old case file. there's some evidence in there, they're going to reopen it and see if they can determine where that little boy is today, 49 years later. >> thank you very much. fascinating material. also ahead, we'll have more on today's big break in the manhunt for a suspected murderer who has been the subject of a multi-state amber alert. and our own brian todd follows
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some researchers as they get up close and personal with great white sharks. excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh...no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just a click away with our free mobile app. like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] ...office space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones. now, everyone's in the spirit of sharing. hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend? no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more. at&t mobile share for business.
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very important cnn special this weekend may make you rethink your attitude about medical marijuana. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta spent nearly a year researching the impact of marijuana on the body and he changed his mind. marijuana often is thought of as a bad drug, but you uncovered just how well off often it works as a medication. what makes it work so well? >> it's made up of lots of different chemicals when you talk about marijuana, better
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known as cannabis. and a couple of these important chemicals, thc, is the chemical that is sort of the psycho active chemical that gives people the high. there is also something known as cbd. you may not remember all this but there are several different of these cbd receptors throughout the body, including in the brain. our body makes some natural cbd receptors and it can help address seizure in the brain, pain in the body, and even as a potent anti-inflammatory to protect the brain after a head injury or stroke. that's really the mechanism, the fact that marijuana can target
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those specific reseptemberocept. >> does it work better than certain medications? >> yeah and i think that's the point. when i was critical of medical marijuana in the past, part was it does it really work that well, aren't there adequate medications already for these ailments? sometimes it works when nothing else does. let me show you an example of what i'm talking about. >> meet 19-year-old chaz moore. he uses many different strains of marijuana. >> my abs will lock up -- >> he talks almost like in hiccups, like he can't catch his breath. he's been convulsing for seven
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minutes. >> how quickly do you expect this to work? >> within the first five minutes. >> and i'm done like. that's it. >> it was actually less than a minute. >> so you get a little bit of an idea there, wolf. this man chaz moore had been in hospitals, in the icu and he had a whole table full of medications including muscle relaxants and even narcotics, that had been prescribed by his doctors. these medications didn't work. marijuana worked and worked quite quickly for him. >> is marijuana more potent right now and could that make it addictive? >> i think it's fair to say it is more potent.
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we spent time with the marijuana potency project, where they analyze the marijuana confiscated in various places. back in the 60s and even above 10%. 10 to 13% thc now. they found marijuana with thc concentrations as high as 37%. there has been this breeding of the plant to try and increase the thc. so i think that's true. whether or not it's more addictive is a bit of a tougher question to answer. certainly if you talk to the institute of drug abuse. which we did. they believe a higher potency will be more addictive. this has been a difficult thing to prove. theoretically it doesn't seem so, but we haven't seen it clinically yet. >> a lot of people were tweeting me reacting to your report and your conversion on medical marijuana. they were saying doesn't sanjay know that you can get lung
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cancer from smoking marijuana. can you? >> well, you know, i think there's a concern any time you smoke anything that you can damage the lungs. certainly we see that with cigarette smoke, tobacco. it took a long time to prove that. we don't have conclusive evidence to say right now that marijuana leads to lung cancer. smoking is not what i would advise as a physician. the patients taking this -- let me be clear. sometimes these strains of marijuana they are taking as an oil. and it's a high cbd, low thc. what that means is they're not getting high off of it but rather using the medicine instead and using it as an oil instead of smoking it. i think of this as a medicine. when you think of reefer madness, when you watch this documentary, i think you'll see a whole different way of using medical marijuana. >> i think you're doing an excellent job. thanks very much.
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and the documentary is entitled "weed." a fascinating special. see it this sunday night 8:00 p.m. eastern and also 11:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. at the top of the hour, the hunt for a california amber alert suspect and the 16-year-old girl he may be moving captive moves to an idaho wilderness. and they're scary enough in the water so why would researchers bring live great whites onto their boat? i'm brian todd. off the coast of cape cod, massachusetts, where a top team of scientists and fishermen have launched an expedition aimed at tagging and tracking great white sharks. that story coming up. ♪ [ male announcer ] it's a golden opportunity to discover a hybrid from the luxury car company that understands that one type of hybrid isn't right for everyone. come to the lexus golden opportunity sales event
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the only thing more frightening than a great white shark in the water is having one on your boat. unless you're one of a small group of researchers going to remarkable lengths to study great white sharks up close. cnn's brian todd takes us up close with jaws. >> reporter: wolf, we're at the height of the migration season. the migration of great white sharks to here. the waters off cape cod. they're a vulnerable species. a top team of scientists and fishermen have launched one of the most ambitious exhibitions aimed at tracking and tagging great whites that has been attempted. it's how they do it. getting the great whites from here onto here while still alive that will make your heart stop. you're inches away from the ocean's most storied predator. a great white shark on the lift of the vessel o-search. it's been baited, hooked, and walked onto this platform. fishing master brett mcbride
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jumps in, risking everything to guide the beast in. he's got to steady it, put a towel over the eyes to calm it, get a line around the tail. one mistake, the shark wins. >> what do you tell your family about what you're doing here? >> that i'm being safe. this has been my whole life being around animals like this. and being in the ocean. they know that i'm safe. i'm not a thrill seeker kind of person. >> we're almost there. >> reporter: a team of scientists has 15 minutes to take blood and tissue samples, place four tags on the shark, check for health problems. once the shark is on that lift, hydration is crucial. this hose runs nonstop. it attaches to this o this slee. they've got to run water through the shark's mouth to pump water through its gills to give it oxygen and water to survive. you can see this one's already been used on a great white shark. samples taken, tags attached, the shark is set free. the crew celebrates and gives this one a name. >> yeah, lydia! yeah yeah yeah! >> reporter: this is the work of
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o-search a non-profit research vessel. scientists working to tag, track, and save the great white shark. we're with them as they track sharks off cape cod. this method of bringing these predators aboard a lift, doing experiments while alive had never been attempted by anyone else. >> this vessel allows you to take it to the next level. bring big fish on board and do multiple studies on live fish. up until now the only big sharks i've been able to look at up close and personal have been dead. >> reporter: a tag is attached allowing anyone to log on and see where the great white goes. what's brought the great whites, ocearch and us? the bait for these sharks are
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these. the seals off of cape cod. some of these animals can get up to 800 pounds. they attack with a violent flouri flourish. their several rows of teeth the perfect weapon. >> stay away from inside of -- the side of the tail and face. >> reporter: there's a misconceptimisco misconception they say. >> they don't want to be around people at all. i think they had a branding misconception. >> reporter: another misconception? they're a threat to us. it's just the opposite. every year maybe five a year are killed by shark attacks. but we kill nearly 38 million sharks a year. >> what happens if the shark population is decimated even more? >> sharks are a critical component. you remove the top predators,
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what they feed upon could be balanced. you get this cascade of effects that causes problems not only for the ocean but for man. >> reporter: he says most of the killing is done in international waters where the fisheries are not policed well. but this team is committed to the fight to save the species. from here they hope to move to the waters off of south america to track tiger and bull sharks. >> an amazing report. learned a lot about great white sharks. happening now, some top republicans slam president obama's new plan to reform government surveillance. saying he's letting the nsa leaker pull his strings. i'll ask the chair of the committee for his reaction. also a new huge break in the hunt for a murder suspect and the teenage girl he allegedly kidnapped. dr. drew pinsky shares his insights. and when the flood waters rushed in, he rushed in to help
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his son and ma of this neighbors. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "situation room." president obama says there's no doubt his attempt to shine a new light on the surveillance is a response to the leaks by edward snowden. he outlined his proposals at the white house that ended a couple of hours ago. he also spoke about the diplomatic fallout with russia after it granted snowden asylum and the terror threat that closed a number of u.s. embassies this week. let's go to jessica yellin. why did the president decide to outline these new surveillance programs today? >> reporter: it's because the president argues that the american public is being misinformed about nsa surveillance and he's been under pressure from both left and right to clarify what surveillance programs are in place in the u.s., how they work, and what legal framework
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justifies them. here's what the president had to say earlier. >> a general impression has, i think, taken hold not only among the american public but also around the world that somehow we're out there willy-nilly just sucking in information on everybody and doing what we please with it. that's not the case. >> reporter: so now his administration is going to reveal more of these programs and even, he says, work with congress to reform the one program that's been most criticized. the one that gathers phone data from hundreds of millions of americans. as you say, wolf, he acknowledged that edward snowden -- those revelations did push him to reveal this more quickly. but he said he was going to make some moves towards transparency anyway. >> he has spoken of his relationship with russian president vladimir putin. that's a sensitive subject. what did we learn?
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>> reporter: this relationship is closely watched and decidedly frosty. when you heard him talk about it today, he made it clear that they like to trade barbs publicly and he's not threatened. listen to this. >> i don't have a bad personal relationship with putin. when we have conversations, they're candid, they're blunt. oftentimes they're constructive. i know the press likes to focus on body language and he's got that kind of slouch looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom. but the truth is that when we're in conversations together, oftentimes it's very productive. >> reporter: well, candid and blunt. you know as well as i do, that's a language diplomats use to describe conversations that haven't gone well. so that was an amusing way to describe a good working relationship. also that language saying that putin is like the slouching bored guy in the back of the
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classroom, hardly squares with putin's own projected image of himself. shirtless and extra macho. so this was the president's way of saying that the president cannot be bullied by putin or threatened by him and his latest moves. >> we'll see how they get together at that g 20 summit in st. petersburg, russia, next month. thanks very much. let's dig a little bit deeper right now. we're joined by the chairman of the house board affairs committee. republican congressman ed royce is joining us from california. mr. chairman, thanks for coming in. what do you think of this relationship between presidents obama and putin? >> well, i think it's unfortunate, clearly, that putin's a very different leader. i think there was an opportunity with the past leadership in russia. but right now clearly putin intends to stick his eye in the united states -- stick his thumb
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in the eye of the united states every time he can. so it's a difficult situation. he's trying to undermine. he's not helpful in iran. and as a consequence, i think we're in a tough position right now. >> so you don't have any criticism of president obama for allowing this relationship to deteriorate clearly as it has? >> well, i think my critique would be that if the united states was taken maybe a little more seriously on the world stage, the likelihood then would be that we'd have a little bit more respect out of the russians. but right now i think that president putin believes that the head of state in russia today believes he can diss the u.s. without any negative consequences. and that probably comes from the fact that we don't carry the same perception of strength that we did and the gravitas of the
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president of the united states is not that of former presidents. and i do think that's a problem for president obama. >> what do you think of his new proposals to make the nsa surveillance programs more transparent to the american public? >> well, i think we should do that, but i -- i am concerned that the president took so long over the last two months if he would have come out forcefully and explained the program and what was behind the program and explained to the american public
some of the information. on the senate side, i know our colleagues did an exhaustive audit. and found that over the last four years, they could not find any examples. i think we had 300 queries looking into this last year. they were on phone calls from al qaeda to al qaeda agents in the western hemisphere and in the united states. so i think that a better
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explanation of the president two months ago would have helped the situation. i think he's waited too long to address it, and at this point i think it's wise for us to reassure the american public. certainly congress should be involved in this. we should set up additional protections. but most of this work is done overseas anyway. and most of it is done to protect our assets overseas, certainly our troops in afghanistan, to protect our embassies, to protect our allies in europe and in central asia and the middle east. and i think all of that should
be explained more forcefully by the president. by waiting so long i think he allowed a lot of conjecture, a lot of questions to develop out there. so now's the time for us to cooperate and get this information out. >> one final question. al qaeda. does it still have the capability of launching another 9/11-type strike against the united states? >> wolf, that's a very good question. as you know, the key bomb maker
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for al qaeda has developed a strategy and a new weaponization program. you saw a little bit of it in the attempt with the underwear bomber. undetected capability to bring in weapons and carry out attacks in the united states. now, that's what al qaeda's working on. and on top of that, they're expanding that capability to teach other bomb makers. and they're putting it on the internet. you saw the consequences of that in terms of boston. that was an al qaeda web page, how to make a bomb in your mother's kitchen. so they're working on this right now. that's why these intelligence programs are so important. we're trying to intercept that. we're trying to find the location of that particular bomb maker. we're trying to track the network that al qaeda is setting up of other bomb makers. and this is a new development and yes, there are more al qaeda sells today than there were a few years ago. it's a big challenge.
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>> ed royce is the chairman of the foreign affairs committee. thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. in just a few minutes, crossfire host, they will be here in "situation room." they will debate the news conference. up next. also a huge new development in an unfolding manhunt. and a surprising refusal to show oprah winfrey a very, very expensive purse. with so much competition, finding the right job is never easy. but with the nation's largest alumni network, including those in key hiring positions, university of phoenix can help connect you
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it was unable for us to determine from the witness account whether she was being held against her will. >> paul vercammen, what's the latest you're hearing? >> reporter: well, exactly what you pointed out. they found the suspect's vehicle in idaho. that the girl was seen healthy as well as that suspect dimaggio. and now they have fanned out into a vast wilderness. an extremely remote area, wolf. looking for the both of them. in all of this, no sign of the little boy who is presumed dead in the fire. some people might be asking now how did we get here? all of this seemed to start earlier in the week in an inferno. from this housefire sunday night in a small town near the mexican border, a story of alleged betrayal of staggering dimensions began smoldering.
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the burning home's owner james dimaggio and brett anderson had been friends for more than a decade and a half. the anderson children 16-year-old hannah and 8-year-old ethan considered dimaggio an uncle and visited here often. but in the charred ruins, the children's mother was found dead. dimaggio now a suspect. there are the remains the size of an 8-year-old also here. and missing, dimaggio and hannah. described as a loving teenager. ♪ you were looking out for me ♪ you got my back >> reporter: authorities issued an amber alert for the children. it eventually spread to nearby states and into mexico. >> jim, i can't fathom what you were thinking. the damage is done. i'm begging you to let my daughter go. >> reporter: brett anderson who
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was in tennessee returned to california and attended a vigil for his no-shattered family. >> i'm so sorry, baby girl. if you get a chance, you're alone, just run. please. >> reporter: and brett anderson began talking about his son as if he was not coming back. >> ethan wore his heart on his sleeve. he would give -- would do anything for anybody. loved everybody. he was just my buddy. >> reporter: later in the week, hannah's grandmother made a plea to dimaggio. >> you've taken our heart and soul. you've taken my only child. and please let hannah go. >> reporter: detectives are looking into comments from hannah's friends that dimaggio who is 40 years old may have had a crush on her. thursday another twist. he may be armed with homemade bombs, his car booby-trapped.
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>> we believe he may be in possession of improvised explosives. >> reporter: now back here live. authorities also saying they believe that dimaggio stockpiled camping equipment. now back to you. >> thanks very much paul vercammen reporting. and dr. drew pinsky is joining us right now. "dr. drew on call" is his show. who what do you make of this latest development that these people in idaho, they saw what appeared to be this james dimaggio and this 16-year-old girl hannah anderson. she didn't seem to be under duress. what do you make of that? >> you know, first of all, the fact that there was a sighting and there have been sightings of him heading north. and so the overwhelming evidence is that perhaps, indeed, he is heading that direction. but the fact that poor hannah was not in duress to me suggests the magnitude of sway this -- let's call him what he is --
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this perpetrator has over this young girl. he's been grooming her for a long time. that's typically the way these guys operate. they let them believe they have a special insight into their unique qualities, a special relationship with them. and they gain their trust and they slowly groom their way in. and by getting their foot in the door, they continue on through and then will often isolate them from their family and continue that -- it's almost a brainwashing in many cases that they get over these young people. >> this james dimaggio is 40 years old. he's divorced. was very close to the family. and some of her friends, hannah's friends, seem to suggest that she thought he had a crush on her. the parents obviously say they didn't know anything about this, but it's a very worrisome development in the sense that could someone who was so close to the family actually commit these alleged crimes. >> well, the speculation is that unfortunately that is precisely
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what went down here. again, you really don't know what's going on in the mind of the people around you. it's a great learning lesson for parents out there. if there is an adult -- i've been preaching this to the young people who might be watching my program as well. if there is someone even a few years older than you who's taking a special interest in you, please let somebody know about that. >> listen to what a friend of his told our piers morgan last night about dimaggio's background. >> he had a lot of trauma in his life growing up. i know both his parents were troubled. there was a suicide involved with his mother and his father has a history. but, you know, he was the one in the family that decided to make his life something more than just about, you know, following the bad example of his parents. >> could past traumatic events as described here have played a role in all of this? >> absolutely.
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absolutely. it makes perfect sense from two standpoints. one is when a child has had a traumatic experience, there is a certain percentage of those children that go on to become perpetrators. that heritage is often behind somebody who becomes a perpetrator. the other issue here is that of boundaries. the kind of circumstance in that family that is loosely described in that interview suggests someone with poor boundaries which is a great reminder that you could go forward in life and gloss on top a good career, good social skills. but if you don't have treatment for those traumas, those boundary problems remain. and this is precisely the types of tragedies that could occur. >> dr. drew pinsky, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. up next, the real life hero. a missouri man tells us how he helped neighbors as flood waters was rising around them. and the priority president obama calls the gop's holy grail. le together. today, we'd like people to come together
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across parts of the country right now, the rain is hard and relentless and the flood danger is worse with every drop. people in 21 states have been under a flood watch or warning today. a flood emergency declaration is underway in parts of arkansas. fast-moving flood waters have ravaged communities in the south, northeast, and the west, and the central plains. in oklahoma last night, a 60-year-old man was rushed away by flood waters while trying to save his daughter who survived. and in missouri a construction crane moved by the current. parts of missouri and kansas have been hammered by up to ten
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inches of rain this week alone. let's head straight to missouri right now where we've seen a lot of dangerous rescues and acts of heroism. what are you seeing out there, george? >> reporter: the problems here in holster mainly started with the turkey creek. things look calm right now but just a day ago this was well above where i'm standing right now. it was a scary night for people along this creek. here is the story how many people managed to survive. an entire community mangled in a matter of minutes. 20 minutes by nick ramirez's amount. that's all it took. >> 20 minutes from the time i left here that morning to take my wife and i returned back home, this whole thing was flooded. it was completely like this when i left. i had to get my son. i left my car at the top of the
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hill and i went to wake my son up. i was in waist deep water. by the time i got my son out of bed, the water was up to my chest. he went to his friend's house which is that trailer there. and i went to this one pounding on doors. like we were trying to break in. and waking everybody up and telling everybody they were flooded and carrying their kids out. kids are screaming. >> reporter: a day later after saving so many lives -- >> we helped everybody. they all got their pets out and whatever. and we lost -- >> our dog and cat. >> we couldn't save our own animals. we were able to save everyone else's. but a lot of people were safe. that's all that matters. >> reporter: ramirez also lost his home. swept away by the powerful current from the nearby creek. raging waters uprooted trees, even ripped the siding off this
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home. there were a few items seemingly untouched. no people were hurt. no one died. because everyone got the warning to get out. >> i don't think i would have been able to make it without my dad saving me. >> and then i got out and was talking to nick. he had woken up everybody and we went around the back of our trailer and it was completely flooded. >> he's the one that knocked on our door to get us up. we were still in bed. he knocked on our door to get us up. told us it was flooding. >> reporter: neighbors say starting over here won't be easy. but nick ramirez puts it best. >> it's weird. when something like that happens, it's -- you think about other people other than yourself. if i wouldn't have thought about ourselves and taken our stuff out, people would have drowned. people would have died. >> reporter: so a lot of the big storm clouds have all passed. people here calling nick ramirez certainly a hero. now it's a matter of cleaning up. you could see the damage
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leftover. it could take weeks or months to get back to where they were. and there's also a big concern out here about looters. something you wouldn't think would happen, but people that will come through take things, take advantage of people after these hard times. many of these neighbors have people waiting out here to protect these homes. >> george howell, thanks very much. let's hope for the best for all the folks out there. appreciate it very much. up next, the president's new steps to reform nsa surveillance. will it really make the system better or is he saving face? the crossfire cohosts are here in the cnn newsroom. hero: if you had a chance to go anywhere in the world, but you had to leave right now, would you go? man: 'oh i can't go tonight' woman: 'i can't.' hero : that's what expedia asked me. host: book the flight but you have to go right now. hero: (laughs) and i just go? this is for real right? this is for real? i always said one day i'd go to china, just never thought it'd be today. anncr: we're giving away a trip every day.
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right now, get a 2013 chevrolet volt for around $269 per month. president obama on the republicans holy grail. his response to a possible government shutdown. in the crossfire. plus oprah winfrey's spat over a hand kbag she wasn't allowed to buy. was it a misunderstanding? was it racism? what's going on? and when the heat is on the chinese apparently go to ikea. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." president obama's accusing republicans of being obsessed with trying to repeal a signature health care law. in his news conference today he was asked of the threat of a government shutdown by
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republicans who want to cut off funding for obama care. >> my friends in the other party have made the idea of preventing these people from getting health care their holy grail. their number one priority. the unifying principle in the republican government right now is making sure 30 million people don't have health care. >> all right. let's bring in two of the new cohosts of cnn's "crossfire" that comes back next month right here on cnn. is it worth shutting down the government, the entire government, at the end of september money runs out september 30th. in order to stop obama care? >> it might not be worth it politically. but i've got to be honest. i thought what the president said right there was appalling. that is such divisive rhetoric. it's intellectually dishonest to say to the country at a press
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conference that the unifying principle in the republican party is to deny 30 million people health care. that is absurd and incredibly offensive. republicans don't want to ensure 11 million people at the expense of 200 million others. that's what we're trying to do. so the strategy of mike lee might not be good, but that was shameful rhetoric on the part of the president. >> first of all, i'm proud of this president. that was a good brush back pitch. i have heard a lot of talk from republicans of how they want to do this and threaten to shut down the government. i haven't heard them talk about the people who don't have health care in our country, the people who have been benefitting from obama care so far. you have kids who have insurance right now who wouldn't have it. instead, my concern about the republican party right now is simply this. they are now this sort of cotton candy and baseball bat party. cotton candy. we'll take all the stuff we like from obama care.
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then if you don't like what they want to do, they shut down the government. neither one of these are responsible approaches. >> but the president's also conceding everything he wants to do in obama care is not possible. he's had to delay entire parts of this program -- >> that's not responsible? aren't you proud of your president for being willing to go responsibly in this doctor ex-? >> no. i wish we'd addressed the legislation before passing it. and talk about this arcane, monstrous, unwielding piece of legislation that half the country does not want. >> first of all, let me say a couple things about this. if there were a partner in your party who would come forward and say, listen. let's make this thing work. then i would agree with you. the president, why is he not cooperating? the problem is there's no responsible partner on the other side. it's cotton candy -- i'm going to cherry pick the stuff about your bill that's good and offer that up. not tell you how to pay for it.
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then threaten the country. >> at least we're allowing the stuff that's good. what other choice do we have? >> here's the deal. when this thing was going forward -- look. i think most people in the country look at this and think there's real reason to be concerned about how are we going to get this done. you're talking about health care, your kids' health, your own health. >> the health of your employees. >> and you got a food fight going on in washington, d.c. >> you think that was helpful what the president said? >> i think -- >> that wasn't -- >> i think he's been quiet long enough. every now and again, a good brushback pitch is good. >> i thought that was really offensive. >> i don't agree. >> shocking. >> what's going to happen? there's a clear split as you know among the republicans how far to go with this threat about defunding obama care. in order to shut down the government. >> threatening the american government and american people because you're not getting your way is not leadership. that's not responsible. >> yeah. there's a political consequence
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of doing that that i think republicans may be wise to consider. but it's also -- this is a strategy to defund this program that we don't like. we being republicans and we being half the country. you've got to do something. and this is at least an idea that ted cruz and mike lee are putting forth that is a workable solution. >> one thing i will give at least ted cruz credit for, i've never of this guy a year ago. >> he's devastated. >> i never heard of this guy a year ago and now he's like the most important republican in this town. how he goes from a nobody in texas to driving the debate, i disagree with the guy but you give him credit. as a new senator, he's showing a lot of cajones. >> assuming they did have the votes, the president would veto it. then you need a 2/3 override.
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so it's not going anywhere. >> you're right. i'm not going to sit here and say my party doesn't grand stand. that my party doesn't have a kamikaze to it. sometimes it does. we are frustrated because we republicans and conservatives hear from small business owners, big business owners, families every single day and they're worried about what obama care is going to do and has already done to their business and their families. we feel like our hands are tied. >> there's some labor union types that are -- that's a key base of the democratic party. >> listen. i still think you can be proud of the president for -- you talk about the kamikaze stuff in your party. we have that as well. it's part of politics. but the president, i don't understand why he gets criticized. when he tries to push things through, they say he's terrible. when he slow walks it, they say he's terrible. i was glad he stood up for himself and his principles and talked about people that don't have health care. >> i'm ashamed of what he said today. >> hold the crossfire for a moment. we're going to take a quick break, continue this
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conversation. is obama catering to the nsa leaker? what's going on? one top republican is accusing the president's plan outline today as being bad, really bad. stay with us. these days, a ss can save by sharing. like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] ...office space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones. now, everyone's in the spirit of sharing. hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend? no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more. at&t mobile share for business. ♪ at&t mobile share for business. see life in the best light. outdoors, or in. transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. maybe even a little better. vsp members can save
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call liberty mutual insurance at... and ask us all about our auto features, like guaranteed repairs, where if you get into an accident and use one of our certified repair shops, the repairs are guaranteed for life. so call... to talk with an insurance expert about everything that comes standard with our base auto policy. and if you switch, you could save up to $423. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? our foreign affairs reporter ai lease labid has forwarded us a statement. announcing that the department of state will reopen 18 of the 19 embassies and consulates that were closed this past week. they will reopen them on sunday.
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the embassy in yemen will remain closed because of the continuing potential for terrorist attacks. the consulate in lahore, pakistan, which closed yesterday will also remain closed. sanaa, yemen staying closed. and in pakistan also remaining closed. all the other embassies and consulates will reopen. we'll get more for you as it comes in. let's move back to our "crossfire" debate. some harsh criticism of president obama's new moves to make government surveillance more transparent. listen to what the president said in his news conference today and the response from republican congressman peter king on cnn's "the lead." >> what makes us different from other countries is not simply our ability to secure our nation, it's the way we do it. with open debate and democratic process.
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in other words, it's not enough for me as president to have confidence in these programs. the american people need to have confidence in them as well. >> this is a terrible failure of leadership. this is the nsa version of the obama apology tour. this is a successful program. the nsa program is successful and yet the president is allowing edward snowden the traitor to pull the puppet strings. he's been indicted for espionage and the president somehow feels he has to cater to him. >> we're back with van jones and s.e. cupp the cohosts of "crossfire" here on cnn. those are strong words from peter king. he chairs the house homeland security subcommittee on counterterrorism. >> he should be ashamed of himself for saying that. the american people want to have a discussion. we want more information. if this is a great program that's keeping us safe then talking about it will only strengthen public confidence. i think the president did the right thing today.
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i also think all of this talking about, you know, snowden as is traitor, all that stuff. i think some of that gets overheated. whistle blowers have a role in our society. you look at watergate. you look at, you know, some of the things that have been good for the country. it's been when people are willing to blow the whistle. you may not like the way he did it, but there's a role to play for those kind of things. and the president is acting responsibly. i think people before we even have the discussion attack the president for opening discussion are wrong. >> what i always say in these situations is love the leak, hate the leaker. if you want to live in a world where we know about watergate, then know these will come out. the problem here is the hypocrisy in the white house. the president today said we need to have an honest debate about this and through the democratic process. i bet we both agree with that. where has the debate been? the president has tried for hard
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through the espionage act to keep a lot of this secret. to keep the public out of this debate. then when it comes out, he's saying look how transparent we are. i mean, it's not honest. >> it is weird. there is this now liberal libertarian alliance beginning to join in this country over surveillance. >> and civil liberties. >> i think we'll have to keep the pressure on. although if you look at the president's comments, one thing that's interesting, it's clear he's been having this dialogue already. these are nuanced comments that he's putting forward and proposing to do. specific things suggest -- >> can you thank edward snowden for that? >> i don't think the president would thank him, but i think we can. yeah. edward snowden is not a hero to me. i don't think what he did is courageous. hate the leaker, love the leak. i like we know about this program now. because i actually don't think
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it's okay that we're taking the phone calls and records of millions of people across the country. that's something i think we should talk about. >> one of the things i don't think we've talked about enough is at a certain point meta data is data. then you're in a different world when it comes to our constitution. >> you don't trust the foreign intelligence is surveillance court. >> i don't. i think one of the things the president raised is there probably needs to be more oversight. i think we have given too much trust and authority to shadowy groups even within our own government we aren't comfortable with. i think this is a positive step. i'm glad the president is taking it. but you're going to hear more, not less from both liberals and libertarians. we want to be safe. we don't want to be safe in a police state, in a surveillance state. we want to be able to have both security and liberty. >> i agree with the president
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there. if any of this were happening under george w. bush, democrats would be impeachment -- calls for impeachment. so the president's gotten a lot of leeway on this. but he's talking about it now because he's been forced to. >> i agree with that. only thing i want to add to this whole situation is when we talk about the things he didn't talk about which needs to be talked about is more whistle blower protection. we need to elevate that. i mean, that kid -- not snowden, but bradley manning. you know, i feel terrible for that guy. obviously he wasn't thinking clearly. he didn't do everything the right way, but you throw the book at the guy. you got him in horrible conditions. 90 years? >> but when you sign the confidential agreements, even if you don't like it there are other steps you can take without necessarily breaking the law. >> yeah. i don't feel terribly for him. >> i'll tell you why i do. the other people who have tried to be whistle blowers under
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obama's administration have gotten in trouble. i think it's up to us as a society to create a pathway for these whistle blowers. if there's a safe whistle blower program and you decide you don't want to go with it. but we've all been in crappy jobs where somebody was doing somebody shady and you don't know what to do. do you tonor the kid. but if you're going to destroy somebody for 90 years, the president has not said one person who lost their life. >> i don't feel bad for bradley manning. >> i'm worried about these kids all across the country who have these contracts and don't know what to do. >> but the president has been punitive against press and whistle blowers he does not approve of. >> a good debate. a little taste of what's coming up on "crossfire" next month. thanks for coming in. an international uproar involving oprah winfrey and racism. what she says happened to her in
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an exclusive boutique. that's next. don't tell mom. don't tell mom! don't tell mom. okay. don't tell mom. don't tell mom. don't tell mom? yeah. the best stories you'll ever tell start with, don't tell." don't tell dad. start yours in the new santa fe. from hyundai. i save time, money,st, and i avoid frustration. you'll find reviews on home repair to healthcare, written by people just like you. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. delivering mail, medicine and packages, yet they're closing thousands of offices, slashing service and want to layoff over 100,000 workers. the postal service is recording financial losses, but not for reasons you might think. the problem? a burden no other agency
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oprah winfrey admits she's so famous and powerful that she's usually not subjected to blatant racism. but she says something was different when she walked into a pricey boutique in switzerland. >> reporter: wolf, i don't know about you, but there have been more than a few occasions where i walked into a shop and a shop assistant has made me feel as though i don't really belong, as though i can't afford what's in there. but you don't expect that kind of thing to happen to one of the most richest and most famous woman on earth. but that's what oprah winfrey says happened to her in this
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shop in zurich just a short while ago. let's take a listen to her version of events. >> i go into a store, shall remain unnamed and say to the woman, excuse me, may i see that bag right above your head. and she says to me, no. it's too expensive. and i say, no, no, no, see, the black one, the one that's folded over, blah, blah, blah. and she goes, oh, no, no, no, you don't want to see that, that will cost too much. you will not be able to afford that. and i said, i really did want to see that. and she refused to get it. >> reporter: the bag she was looking at was tom ford's jennifer bag, named after jennifer aniston, who's a fan of the design, retailing for $38,000. pretty pricey, you might say, but it is crocodile skin. oprah says racism, but the store
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manager says that this was a 200% misunderstanding and had nothing to do with racism. her shop assistant felt a little embarrassed by the price, she says, so she simply suggested alternatives in other leathers, which weren't quite as expensive. the store manager told me that in her shop, the customer is king. but when the queen of talk walks away unhappy, then the world does tend to hear about it. wolf? >> diana magnay, what a story in zurich, switzerland. thank you. another celebrity making headlines today, r&b singer usher, walking into court just days after a big scare with his 5-year-old son. ♪ [ male announcer ] you wait all year for summer. ♪ this summer was definitely worth the wait. ♪ summer's best event from cadillac. let summer try and pass you by. lease this cadillac srx
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look at some of the other top stories in the situation room right now. mary. >> reporter: wolf, the city of miami beach is asking the florida department of law enforcement to conduct an independent review of a controversial death. 18-year-old israel hernandez was caught spray painting a building by police and fled before he was cornered and tasered. he died shortly afterward. his family calls it excessive force. the state attorney's office and the miami-dade county medical examiner's office are also investigating. usher gets to keep custody of his son, who nearly drowned in a swimming pool accident this week. an atlanta judge has dismissed an emergency motion by usher's ex-wife, seeking temporary custody of both her children by the music mogul. the judge said the situation is not an emergency or crisis. 5-year-old usher raymond v remains hospitalized, but is doing much better, according to his mother. and look at this ikea in beijing. it's filled with people not
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necessarily shopping, but cooling off. residents of the chinese capital and beyond are sweltering through a brutal heat wave. in fact, shanghai just experienced its hottest july in 140 years, with 25 days of temperatures 95 degrees or higher that killed at least ten people. hope they get relief soon. wolf, have that good weekend. >> you too. ikea in china, who knew? did you know that? >> i did not know that. >> yeah, look at those people. >> but not necessarily surprised, though. >> no. i think everything was going to wind up in china sooner rather than later. thanks very much, mary snow, for that. i'll be back in one hour. i'm filling in for anderson cooper later tonight on "a.c. 360," 8:00 p.m. eastern. i'll see you then. thanks very much for watching. by the way, you can always follow us on twitter. please tweet me, @wolfblitzer. you can tweet the show show, @cnnsitroom. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. "erin burnett outfront" starts
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right now. a murder suspect on the run with a 16-year-old girl. we have a major development to tell you about. and president obama breaks his silence on edward snowden. what he really thinks about the nsa leaker. and inside the mind of a killer. a man admits to killing his wife and then posting a photo of her body on facebook. why? let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett outfront on this friday. a crucial sighting, a major break in the nationwide manhunt for suspected murderer, james dimaggio. horseback riders said they saw two people who lacked like dimaggio and